Expo 2020 Steering Committee urges participants to join its free vaccination drive

By Ashika Rajan, Trainee Reporter
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Expo 2020 Steering Committee
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The Expo 2020 Dubai Steering Committee has urged all of the Expo’s 200-plus participants to join in the vaccination drive while praising His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council of Dubai for his decision to provide free vaccinations to all official participants and their employees.

The Steering Committee expressed gratitude for His Highness’s offer during its most recent meeting and urged all official members to take steps to ensure the safety of their staff and guests.

The recommendation came as the Committee, which included Commissioner Generals from 34 countries and represented the 190-plus participating nations, addressed the stringent steps being implemented at Expo 2020 to protect all participants, workforce, suppliers, contractors, and visitors, as part of the UAE’s larger efforts to combat the ongoing global pandemic.

Mr. Manuel Salchli, Chair of the Expo 2020 Steering Committee and Commissioner General for Switzerland at Expo 2020 remarked that “health and safety is a pivotal part of the planning and operations for all World Expos and the ongoing global pandemic has put this more sharply into focus. All official participants must benefit from the UAE’s generous offer to vaccinate their delegations and it is the collective responsibility of all the countries to support this initiative to ensure an enjoyable and safe Expo for all participants.”

After the sixth and final International Participants Meeting (IPM), which took place earlier this week, the Steering Committee convened. The IPM saw more than 370 senior representatives from 173 countries gather in Dubai to reviews final arrangements ahead of the mega-event’s opening on 1 October, and to see first-hand the robust health and safety initiatives that have already been rolled out.

Mr. Dmitri S Kerkentzes, Secretary-General, Bureau International des Expositions pointed out that “more than any other crisis, COVID-19 has shown us that global challenges require an extraordinary common effort. With the UAE consistently demonstrating its commitment to health and global solidarity, we are confident that through close partnership and determined cooperation, Expo 2020 Dubai will be an inspiring and enlightening event offering safe and meaningful experiences to each and every visitor.”

Expo 2020 launched a large-scale COVID-19 vaccination campaign for all Expo 2020 workers and their families at the start of the year. More broadly, since the program started a few months ago, the UAE has supervised one of the world’s fastest vaccination programs, having already administered more than 10 million doses.

Mr. Clayton Kimpton, Commissioner General for New Zealand at Expo 2020 added that “from the installation of thermal cameras and sanitization stations across the site to mandatory face-mask wearing and the implementation of social-distancing regulations, we have been reassured to see the measures that have been put in place and hear how they will continue to be monitored and adjusted, in line with the latest information and guidance from the World Health Organization.”

More than 100,000 people recently got a sneak peek at Terra, The Sustainability Pavilion, and learned about the measures taken to protect visitors and maintain social distance around the Expo grounds. Mandatory pre-booking of tickets to control capacity and visitor flow, floor markings and signs to facilitate social distancing, and assigned staff to monitor and regulate social distancing in all venues were among them.

The Expo Pavilions Premiere issued the Dubai Assured stamp from the Dubai government in appreciation of their adherence to the applicable safety standards and protocols.

Expo 2020 will take place from October 1, 2021, to March 31, 2022, bringing individuals, cultures, and nations together to build bridges, encourage action, and provide real-life solutions to real-life challenges.

Related: Dubai Expo 2020 receives highest sustainability recognition